Filming for the new Netflix series Marco Polo will take place on location in Kazakhstan and Italy, plus in a Malaysian studio, from August this year.
In the series, the world-renowned explorer, played by Italian actor Lorenzo Richelmy, finds himself in the midst of a battle in 13th century China. The initial episodes are expected to be full of martial arts and epic battle scenes and Netflix will be hoping for the same level of success as its other recent original drama hits Orange is The New Black, starring Taylor Schilling, and House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey.
Writer John Fusco (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon II), director Dan Minahan (Game of Thrones, True Blood) and producer Harvey Weinstein (Gangs of New York) are behind the highly-anticipated project.
“We are shooting all over the world,” explained Weinstein. “From the sweeping vistas of Kazakhstan, which act as backdrop for the wars and conquests of Kublai Khan, to the intimate moments within the alleys and canals of Marco’s hometown of Venice, Italy, this is spectacle in the truest sense of the word.”
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos added: “In this commanding, epic story of Marco Polo, through the magnetic cast they’ve assembled, the spectacular martial arts work they are showcasing and the exotic locations that serve as a backdrop, they have really outdone themselves.”
There will be a few familiar faces in front of the camera too. An international cast includes Brit Benedict Wong (Prometheus) and a number of Chinese actors including Tom Wu (Skyfall), Remy Hii (Treading Water), Zhu Zhu (Cloud Atlas), and Rick Yune (Olympus Has Fallen).
“Television audiences today are more discerning than ever before both in terms of character and the scope of the worlds those characters live in,” said Weinstein. “We are proud to present a series that rivals some of the most successful films we’ve ever made. Marco Polo is a figure all have heard of but few truly know, and we are excited to introduce him to the world.”
Marco Polo will be released in late 2014 on Netflix.